A stop gap measure keeping the government's doors open was agreed to late last night by the House Republicans and Senate Democrats.
Although both sides claimed a victory of sorts for avoiding the shutdown it was the Republicans (who obviously had visions of 1994 when Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House and he and his "Contract with America" gang forced a government shutdown for which the American people squarely blamed on them) who flinched before the 12 O'clock witching hour.
But it's a sad commentary that ALL parties are to blame for the shameless grandstanding the American people were forced to endure.
With right wing tea party backed Republican ideologues having ascended in the House with cutting the deficit their mantra it was remarkable that any deal was reached. All government to them is evil believing as they do that laissez-faire free market capitalism is the answer to all the country's ills. This unwavering belief despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that without the government providing corporate welfare i.e. government bailouts and Federal Reserve loans at less than 1% to these supposed free market capitalists, the financial behemoths (these Republican ideologues love so much) would have been bankrupt casualties as a result of the financial meltdown they created.
This Republican disconnect from reality (even though pure free market capitalism is a myth and government is ALWAYS required to rescue the financial wizards from the excesses they habitually create) is astounding and imbecilic. Yet to them, even in a recession, there is no inherent contradiction in their belief that cutting the deficit is necessary to create private sector jobs.
It's as if the Great Depression (which of course began with the stock market crash in October, 1929 under the inept Republican President Herbert Hoover who did nothing to alleviate the suffering of people caught in the maelstrom) wasn't caused by the financial recklessness of the free market capitalists of the time and wasn't saved by the "New Deal" policies of FDR that created government jobs (WPA, CCC, TVA et al) and enacted legislation (the Glass Steagel Act of 1933 separating commercial banks and investment banks) that regulated the financial industry. It was such regulation that prevented another depression from reoccurring until it was essentially overturned by the Graham, Leach Bliley Act (signed by Bill Clinton in 1999) which finalized and enabled the deregulation mania in the financial industry that brought the present great recession.
So sadly it wasn't just the Republicans who became enamored with deregulation and the wonders of free market capitalism. The Democrats in the last 30 years have also lost their way hitching their political futures to the largesse of big moneyed and special interests to underwrite their campaigns making the current two party system a cruel joke with neither party truly representing the interests of the people.
What separates the parties is insignificant as both equally have become beholden to big moneyed interests leaving the people's interests wanting. Democrats in the words coined by Bill Clinton "feel your pain". Republicans don't worry about such "niceties" and just openly side with the big corporate interests.
Last nights budget crisis may have been temporally averted but there was nothing really magnanimous coming from either side.
Posturing and blaming was the only victor in this squabble because nothing fundamentally changed.